Thursday, December 5, 2019

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on December 18, 2019

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place on Wednesday, December 18 from 6-8pm in the Parent University at Dyett High School.

Agenda items include reports/feedback regarding our 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day on November 22; discussion of ideas for high school outreach; and brainstorming of ways to spend $3,000 offered to CACs for the 2nd semester of the year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Aspen Parent Portal Training Session on December 9 at Dyett High School

CPS/FACE2 will host an Aspen Parent Portal Training on Monday, December 9 at Dyett High School (555 E. 51st Street) from 10am-12pm. Parents who have questions or concerns with Aspen are encouraged to attend.

Click here for the flyer.

Please RSVP to or call (773) 383-5469.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

CPS Survey for Stakeholders regarding SQRP (school rating system)

CPS is seeking input regarding the SQRP (School Quality Rating Policy) -- the method they use to rate schools. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey:

Thank you!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thank you to everyone who supported the 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day!

The 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day took place in 7 schools on Friday, November 22. Volunteers visited the Kindergarten or PreK classrooms at Ariel, Bret Harte, Murray, Ray, Reavis, Robinson, and Shoesmith and put copies of Jabari Jumps in the hands of about 400 students. Afterwards the volunteers were invited on a tour of the school by the principal.

We're grateful to CPS's FACE2 department for supporting the HPKCAC with $2900; to the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference for $504; to the My Very Own Library program at the University of Chicago for 50 books; and to the many community members who purchased copies of Jabari Jumps to give to the children. 57th Street Books has been a wonderful partner in this project and we're grateful for the 30% discount they gave us on the price of Jabari Jumps.

We hope that volunteers will continue to find other ways to support the schools in our community!

Here's a nice article on the event, and the grand opening of the library at Reavis, by the Hyde Park Herald:

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Next HPKCAC Meeting on November 20 at Dyett HS

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place on Wednesday, November 20 at Dyett High School from 6-8pm. We will be preparing for the 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day on Friday, November 22 and will practice techniques for reading a book aloud to young children. Retired educator Lorraine Richardson will present and we will have refreshments. We will also be inserting thank you stickers into the copies of Jabari Jumps, which we will pass out to the children on Friday.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Contingency plans in the event of a CPS teacher strike on October 17, 2019

Please click here for a message from CPS leadership regarding a possible teacher strike and the contingency plans that are in place.

Raise Your Hand has gathered information here about additional resources for parents across the city in the event that there is a strike.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

CANCELLED: HPKCAC meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at Dyett High School

The HPKCAC meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 23 from 6-8pm at Dyett High School has been cancelled.

We will reschedule our training meeting for the Jane Averill Community Reading Day in November, after the strike is over. Updated information will be sent out via email and on this blogspot.

Thank you!

3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day on Friday, November 22

The Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC is planning to put on a third Jane Averill Community Reading Day on Friday, November 22, 2019. The goal of this one-day, community-wide reading event is to further strengthen community support for our public schools. This event is named in honor of Jane Averill, a long-time Hyde Park resident, educator, and HPKCAC member.

On November 22 volunteers will spend approximately 30 minutes in a Chicago Public School PreK or Kindergarten classroom reading the children's book, Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall to small groups of children. Afterwards we will pass out copies of the book for each child to keep. Volunteers will be invited on a tour of the school either before or after the classroom visit.

The HPKCAC will provide a liaison at each school as a contact person for the volunteers, who will contact you with details about the event.

Please fill out the form below to sign up to participate in the 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day!

We are partnering with 57th Street Books again this year and we would like to raise $3920 to cover the cost of 350 books. If CPS's FACE Department supports us with $3000, that leaves $920 for us to raise. We are asking community members to help us cover this portion of the cost of the event. With the 30% discount that 57th Street Books is giving us, one book costs $11.20. A donation of $224 would cover the cost of 20 books for a single PreK/K classroom, but even purchasing one book for this event helps a lot. We are so grateful to all of the community members who have donated in the past! You can stop by 57th Street Books (1301 E. 57th Street) and purchase a book or two to be used for the third Jane Averill Community Reading Day or via this online link:

All volunteers are required to complete a background check form. (We will be in touch with you about this step after you sign up to participate.)

We are planning to hold a training session on techniques for reading a book aloud to young children at our November 20 meeting at Dyett High School, from 6-8pm. Retired educator, Lorraine Richardson, will present and we will serve refreshments. 

And don't hesitate to reach out with questions:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Fall Parent Conference "The Whole Parent, The Whole Child" on September 28

CPS's office of Family and Community Engagement in Education is sponsoring a conference for parents called "The Whole Parent, The Whole Child." Topics to be covered include a variety of ways in which parents can support their children's learning. The conference is free and childcare and lunch will be provided.

When: Saturday, 9/28 from 8:30am-1:30pm
Where: Benito Juarez High School, 1450 W. Cermak

Click here for the flyer.

To sign up to attend, click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Next HPKCAC meeting on Wednesday, September 25 at Dyett HS

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place on Wednesday, September 25 at Dyett High School from 6-8pm.

We'll hear from a representative from the Shedd Aquarium regarding their community outreach and we'll discuss putting on a third Jane Averill Community Reading Day in November.

Please come with a picture book that you think would be a good fit for this special event. The level should be appropriate for Kindergarteners. If the community supports a 3rd Jane Averill Community Reading Day we will vote on the book we will use.

Please bring your calendars so that we can discuss changing our regular meeting day for the HPKCAC. Currently the CPS Board of Education meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month, just as we do, so we may want to meet on a different day/week.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

'Advancing Educational Funding Justice in Illinois' on September 11 at UIC

Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, will be discussing how the state's Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act reduces Illinois' drastic funding and achievement gaps between schools serving white students in property rich districts and those serving students of color in property poor districts. 

When: Wednesday, September 11, 3:00-4:30pm
Where: Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria Street

Please RSVP here if you plan to attend.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Community forum to meet candidates for interim principal role at Dyett HS on August 15

There will be a community forum at Dyett High School to meet the candidates for the position of interim principal at Dyett High School on August 15 at 6:00pm. Because Dyett does not yet have a Local School Council, this community forum may provide a chance for community stakeholders to participate in the process.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Back-to-School Bash for Network 9 on Friday, August 9

The Network 9 (and Network 17) Back-to-School Bash will be held at Williams Prep High School (4934 S. Wabash) on Friday, August 9 from 2pm-5pm.

There will be music, food, games and performances. Students will receive free school supplies and there will be lots of information for parents.

Click here for more information.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Public input needed re: selection and training of police officers in schools

CPS has partnered with Chicago Police to discuss feedback regarding selection criteria & training for police officers who serve in schools. Several meetings with different days/times are being held: 

Saturday, July 20 - 10-noon - Hamilton Park - 513 W. 72nd St
Monday, July 22 - 6-8pm - Piotrowski Park - 4247 W. 31st St
Wednesday, July 24 - 6-8pm - Warren Park - 6600 N. Western Ave

All of these meetings are open to the public.  

No HPKCAC meetings in July & August; next meeting on September 25

The Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC will take a break this summer and not meet in July and August. Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 245 at Dyett HS at 6pm.

At the September meeting we'll discuss putting on a third Jane Averill Community Reading Day. Please come with a picture book you think would be good for us to use for the event.

Have a good summer!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Workshop on best practices for school facilities and programming on July 12-13

RYH and Blocks Together are putting on a special workshop, 
Schools as Anchors: Communities Planning for Their Schools,
coming up on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, at Beidler Elementary school in Garfield Park. All the details are in this eventbrite.

Parents and community leaders are invited to learn more about best practices in planning for school facilities and programming from Mary Filardo, Executive Director of the 21st Century School Fund.

Through practical workshops guided by national experts and local practitioners, your school community will learn best practices for:
• the joint use of buildings
• proposing new attendance boundaries
• developing new programs to recruit students
• potential school mergers

Please reach out to Joy Clendenning (, Jennie Biggs (, or Jianan Shi ( with any questions.

Click here for the flyer.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Next HPKCAC meeting on Wednesday, June 26 at UofC's Edelstone Building

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place on Wednesday, June 26 at the University of Chicago's Edelstone Building, 6030 S. Ellis, room 190, from 6-8pm.

There is a parking lot at 61st and Ellis (immediately adjacent to the building) that is free after 5pm and available for you to park in; street parking should also be available.  

We'll be hearing from Representative Tarver about his work in Springfield and we'll be discussing Eve L. Ewing's book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard.

Everyone is welcome.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

LIFT offering support to families with children

The group LIFT works with parents who have children to help them achieve their goals. The goal is to have a 2-generational impact. They now have an office at 47th and Cottage Grove (710 47th Street) -- open by appointment. Families are identified in a variety of ways and HPKCAC members are invited to spread the word. LIFT has been around for 20 years and on the South Side for 4 years. 312-316-1899;;

They offer free, personalized career coaching; free financial coaching; support with pursuing education and career goals. Members are eligible for ~$600 stipend for participating in the coaching program.

Click here for the flyer.

Interested parents should complete this form.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Next HPKCAC meeting to take place Wednesday, May 22 at Dyett HS

Our next meeting will take place this Wednesday, May 22 at Dyett HS from 6-8pm. 

Topics for the meeting include 1) follow up ideas after hearing from Chief Equity Officer, Dr. Maurice Swinney, last month and 2) a presentation about how to use Twitter effectively by Lorraine Richardson. Using social media effectively can be a good way to advocate for our schools.

Everyone is welcome. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hands-on learning for families from May 16-19

A number of free hands-on learning opportunities are available to families across Chicago and Evanston from May 16-19.

Here's the website:

A schedule of activities and locations can be found here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CPS families invited to offer feedback on food ideas for school lunches next year

CPS Nutrition Support Services, Aramark, and the Office of Student Health and Wellness invite CPS families to their Spring Student Food Fair on Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2 from 4:30-6:00pm at Benito Juarez Community Academy (1450 W. Cermak Road).

Taste and vote on over 40 new products and recipes. There will also be raffles and giveaways for students.

Please RSVP here:

Friday, April 19, 2019

Next HPKCAC meeting on April 24 from 6-8pm at Dyett HS

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place this Wednesday, April 24, at Dyett HS from 6-8pm. Maurice Swinney, the new Chief Equity Officer of CPS, will attend and will present his vision for equity in our schools.

The presentation will go until about 6:30; after that we'll break into small groups to talk about other visions of equity and/or any gaps in the vision that was presented.

Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Coding Workshop for 6th-7th-8th grade girls on April 27 from 9am-5pm

On Saturday, April 27, compileHer will host a free, day-long special event that introduces 6th-7th-8th grade girls to a variety of computer science topics. The interactive workshops are led by University of Chicago professors and students.

For more information and to register, please click here.

compileHer will be hosting our annual spring conference on Saturday, April 27 from 9 AM-5 PM. Our event introduces middle school girls from all across the city of Chicago to computer science topics through a day-long series of interactive workshops taught by University of Chicago professors and students.
This year, each girl has been turned into a superhero with the power of technology on their side. Disaster has struck the city of Chicago and a virus has taken out citizen phones and computers. We call upon each of the girls to harness technology as their superpower to help save the day.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Next meeting of the HPKCAC at Dyett on March 27 from 6-8pm

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC will take place on Wednesday, March 27 at Dyett HS from 6-8pm. Erick Pruitt, Chief of Schools, Network 17 will give us updated information about our CAC high schools -- Kenwood, Dyett, King, and Hyde Park Academy.

The better informed we are about our schools, the better advocates we can be.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club seeks new Executive Director

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (HPNC), a not-for-profit organization, plays a very important role in the Hyde Park-Kenwood community. They are currently seeking a new Executive Director. HPNC provides developmentally informed childcare, academic support, and enriching activities for infants to teens of diverse backgrounds so they learn, grow, and thrive.  HPNC prioritizes bringing together children from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. HPNC serves more than 900 racially and socioeconomically diverse youth who come to our programs from 32 schools and 49 zip codes.  The core values that drive our programming and long-term strategy are Inclusion, Excellence, and Community.
To apply for the position of HPNC executive director, please read the job announcement here. Interested candidates should apply no later than May 1, 2019 by 5pm CST, although The HPNC Executive Director Search Committee will begin the interview process by April 1.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

8th Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair on 3/31

NPN is hosting its 8th Annual Developmental Differences Resources Fair on Sunday, March 31 from 10am-2pm at DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California.

This is a FREE opportunity to find support and resources for parents and children alike. Your child does not need to have a diagnosis in order to benefit from the resources offered at this fair. Many providers will attend, including speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapy providers; schools; fun extracurricular options; and more. Plus, get advice and strategies you can use immediately at 4 free, expert-led sessions:
  • IEP 101: How to obtain an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child and make sure it's appropriate and the goals are followed
  • Managing Challenging Behaviors: Learn why these behaviors occur and how to address them
  • Navigating Insurance: Find out how to get the best insurance for your child and how to leverage your network and benefits
  • Guided Relaxation for Caregivers: Learn relaxation techniques and enjoy a guided meditation

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Volunteers needed to help with the library at Reavis

Following the Jane Averill Community Reading Day last October, volunteers who went to Reavis that day have been working to re-open the school library. They have teamed up with Seminary Co-op Books, who will be sponsoring a Book Drive to add some new titles to the shelves. This will kick off later in the month of March so if you are able, please stop by 57th Street Books to Buy a Book for Reavis!

Volunteers are currently working at the school on Mondays and Fridays from 9 am-11:30 am to organize the library. If you would like to help with this, please reach out to Hannah Hayes ( or Cheryl Hubbard ( 

Level 2 Volunteer status is required to volunteer in a CPS school, so if you haven't gotten cleared by CPS, go to this website:
and click on the blue box that says 'Complete a Volunteer Application'. Then choose English or Spanish. Then choose Current Volunteer or New Volunteer. (Choose 'New Volunteer' unless you already have Level II volunteer status at Reavis.) Then enter your name and address/etc. in the boxes. You will need to select REAVIS (or William C Reavis Math & Science Specialty ES) and then select LEVEL II Volunteer. 
The rest of the questions should be straightforward.

N.B. After you complete the online portion of the volunteer application, you will need to bring your id to the Reavis Office and have it photocopied there. 

Thank you!

Friday, March 8, 2019

All-CAC Retreat on March 16 from 10am-2pm

The All-CAC Retreat is scheduled for March 16th. The event is open to all CAC members from each of the 9 CACs and will run from 10am-2pm at the Chicago Center for Arts & Technology (1701 W. 13th). The morning will include opening remarks from both CPS CEO Janice Jackson and Chief FACE Officer Chip Johnson, as well as the CACs sharing their current vision and goals for their current academic strategic plans, followed by break-out discussions in the afternoon on key issues (increasing engagement, fundraising), and a wrap-up session on a possible All-CAC platform and/or agenda for the entire district.

Continental breakfast and registration will start @9:30am. Lunch will be included as well as a raffle at the conclusion of the retreat. Free parking is available in the ChiCAT parking lot (south of the building), there is street parking on both 13th and Paulina, and the Simpson High School parking lot (1321 S. Paulina) located right across the street from ChiCAT.  ChiCAT is located just south of the Jewel Grocery strip mall (Ashland & Roosevelt) and just north of Costco (1430 S. Ashland).  

Please RSVP to RSVP_FACE@CPS.EDU by Tuesday, March 12th and share the attached flier with others.

Click here for the flyer.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on Wednesday, February 27 at 6pm at Dyett

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will take place this Wednesday, February 27 at Dyett High School at 6pm.

This meeting will be a planning meeting: we will review the main points from Jim Dispensa's presentation last month and discuss next steps that the HPKCAC community would like to take, including other speakers to invite on the topic of equity, under-enrolled schools, and the way CPS calculates "school utilization rates." We'll lay out a plan for meeting topics for the next 6 months. If you have a book recommendation that you think the HPKCAC should read and discuss, please bring your ideas.

Also, we have two requests for volunteers:
1) Please see the flyer from Tutoring Chicago.
2) Following up on the Jane Averill Community Reading Day, volunteers who read at Reavis are looking for additional help with the library there. Here is their message: We are looking for volunteers to help sort and organize books at Reavis so the school can have a functioning library once again. If you have a couple of hours to spare and are interested in helping, please contact Hannah Hayes at or Cheryl Hubbard at  Days and times for working are flexible. Thank you!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

UC Booth School of Business is hosting a conference on the topic of education on February 22 from 11:30-6pm

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is hosting the fourth annual Chicago Booth Education Management Conference, a critical convening of education leaders, practitioners, and graduate students. The Conference is an opportunity for students and practitioners alike to delve into current challenges and exciting trends in education, engage with emerging and ongoing academic research, and apply innovative business management principles to the education space. Through panels, workshops, keynotes, and networking conversations, we seek to create a forum for leaders to connect and transform the education landscape in Chicago and beyond.

See this website for more information and to register:

CPS Job Fair for many different jobs in schools on February 7

There is a CPS Job Fair on Thursday, February 7 from 3pm-7pm at the Gage Park Fieldhouse. See the poster below for more details.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Next meeting of the HPKCAC to take place on 1/23 at 6pm at Dyett HS

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will take place on Wednesday, January 23 at Dyett High School at 6pm.

We'll have a guest speaker, Jim Dispensa, from the Business Operation Department of CPS. We'd like to hear from Mr. Dispensa about how current space utilization assessments of CPS schools, especially schools in our community, would be affected if CPS used the classroom sizes identified in Illinois' new evidence-based funding formula (so, for example, 15 children in K-2 in low-income communities). 

We'll also provide updates from our meeting with principals in December.

We'd love to hear updates from our schools about how 2019 is going so far.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Free Supplies for Teachers

This message comes from the Neighborhood Schools Program at the University of Chicago:
CCRX: Swap Circle for Teachers
Envision Frick Center - 2124 W. 82nd Place
Donation Days are January 19 - 23
Teacher Event Days are Jan 25-26
The Swap Circle is a pop-up event for Chicago teachers to get free supplies, and an opportunity for businesses to donate their surplus supplies for the teachers.  At the last Swap, 500 teachers got 10 tons of surplus!  Everything from paper, office and art supplies to fabric, science equipment and more.

This coming Swap will feature 13 skids of new Scholastic books for ages PreK - Young Adult.  It is all free for teachers who live or work in Chicago -- we just ask for a $10 donation.

Please visit the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx) website for more information!